Moving home is a complicated process, both physically and emotionally. One of the biggest hurdles you will have to cross on your way to your new home is the choice of a moving company. Almost all of us have experienced or heard of the poor service provided by some company or other in this field. To avoid unpleasant last-minute surprises, we recommend that you find a professional moving company well in advance. Choose a company that signs a formal contact, insures all your furniture and belongings, and will take them safely and carefully to your new home.
How should I choose a moving company?
As in other areas, personal recommendation is the best method. Speak to acquaintances who moved home recently and who can recommend a moving company that offers a good price and a professional service. Internet forums about moving home include numerous recommendations for professional companies, as well as warnings about unreliable companies to steer clear of. Focus on moving companies that have received as many positive comments as possible, including detailed reviews.
Check the validity of the company’s insurance and certificates
A good way to check the reliability of a moving company is to inspect its business documents: a valid business license, a driver’s license for the company driver, licenses for the vehicles used to move items, and, of course, a suitable insurance policy. Make sure to check that the insurance is comprehensive for all types of moving, what deductible you will be charged, how long it will take to receive compensation if your belongings are damaged, and what happens if the insurance company refuses to approve compensation. These items should be added to the contract you sign in advance with the moving company.
How does the moving company set its price for the job?
Any self-respecting moving company will send a representative to your home to inspect the quantity of items to be moved and provide a suitable quote. During the visit, make sure to mention all the logistical considerations that can influence the price, such as:
- Whether your new home has an elevator, and if not – what floor it’s on.
- The distance between your old and new homes.
- Are there any special access or parking problems by your new home?
- Will any items of furniture need to be dismantled in order to get them out of the door? Are there any items that cannot be dismantled.
- Are there boxes with particularly heavy items (e.g. books)?
- Do you have any fragile or very valuable belongings or items of furniture that will require special caution during moving?
- While the representative is in your home, discuss all the details and examine the quote in depth to avoid unexpected extra charges.
- Agree in advance on the tip to be given to the moving workers.
Drafting a contract with the moving company
After you receive a quote including all the relevant details, sign a contract specifying all the points you have agreed with the moving company. This will help prevent various creative “surprises” that sometimes appear out of nowhere on moving day. The contract must state the date and time of the move, as well as the sum of compensation if the company is late.
Record in writing all the details regarding the contents of the home: A list of furniture and objects, an estimate of the number of boxes or crates you will need, and whether you will require additional services from the company, such as help packing your possessions before moving day; unpacking in your new home; dismantling and assembling furniture, etc.
Setting a date and time for the move
Make sure to include in the contact the date and time you have agreed with the moving company. Bear in mind that the cost of moving varies according to the time of year – families with children prefer to move during the summer vacation, as do students who are beginning or completing their studies, and as a result prices are higher during this period. If possible, try to move during spring or fall, when demand and prices are at their lowest.
When choosing moving day, try to go for the middle of the month, since the beginning and ends of each month are busier and more expensive. It’s also worth moving during the middle of the week for the same reason. Schedule the move for the morning so that the movers can come to you when they’re alert and refreshed and you can complete the move before it gets dark.
Preparing for moving day
Pack your belongings and arrange the boxes according to the rooms they will go in in your new home. Mark the boxes clearly with colored stickers so that the movers can put them in the right room when they arrive. That way you won’t be left hunting for “lost” boxes.
On moving day take the day of work and don’t make any plans for the evening so that you can supervise the move and make sure that the movers are careful with your furniture and your fragile items.
Be prepared for delays due to factors beyond the control of the moving company, such as traffic jams, parking problems, or power outages. Stay calm even if things don’t go exactly according to plan.
Have a pleasant and trouble-free move!